First hike in Africa: Lion’s Head in the mist

LIMG_0735Dave and I arrived here in Cape Town on Monday afternoon – pretty exhausted from the long long journey. The next day, yesterday, we poked around the waterfront, then met my friend Thamar and her husband Richard for a late afternoon hike up Lion’s Head, a conical peak on the side of Table Mountain, and then dinner.

I know Thamar from the one-week ultramarathon I did in the Himalayas two years ago. We were room-mates for the week, and we kept in touch – so I emailed her when Dave and I made the plans to visit Cape Town.

The weather was less than ideal… very grey and overcast, with enough of a drizzle falling that we got fairly wet on the way up. But none of us wanted to wimp out. Thamar kept saying it was a shame that we couldn’t see the view, or where we were going. We were fine, though, having fun anyway – but it was hard to know where we actually were in the fog!

Here's a view of Lion's Head we took today, when we drove South. We couldn't actually see it yesterday!

Here’s a view of Lion’s Head we took today, when we drove south. We couldn’t actually see it yesterday!

It got a lot steeper as we neared the top - but there were metal rungs stuck in the rock to climb on, and chains to hold on to. It was fairly slippery, but quite doable with all of that help.

It got a lot steeper as we neared the top – but there were metal rungs stuck in the rock to climb on, and chains to hold on to. It was fairly slippery, but quite doable with all of that help.

We were mere metres away from the summit when it finally came intoview.

We were mere metres away from the summit when it finally came into view.

Thamar and Richard had brought beers for us all to drink while we watched the sunset. We were able to carry out the first half of that plan.

Thamar and Richard had brought beers for us all to drink while we watched the sunset. We were able to carry out the first half of that plan.

The whole team...

The whole team…

Thamar kept saying she thought it might clear, and Richard and I kept laughing at her. But... on the way down... it started to clear! Dave and I were shocked to have a view of  where we had just been!

Thamar kept saying she thought it might clear, and Richard and I kept laughing at her. But… on the way down… it started to clear! Dave and I were shocked to have a view of where we had just been!

Cool-looking native pigeon. Dave and I really need to buy a local bird book.

Cool-looking native pigeon. Dave and I really need to buy a local bird book.

Beautiful views downward now. Those cloud-shrouded hills are called the Twelve Apostles, and the posh suburb below them is Camp's Bay . This is the view southward.

Beautiful views downward now. Those cloud-shrouded hills are called the Twelve Apostles, and the posh suburb below them is Camp’s Bay . This is the view southward.

A fun hike. The rain added atmosphere, and it was nice that things cleared enough that we had someviews at the end. And then lots of fun all together at a good local Mexican restaurant.

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